The pharmaceutical industry of Azerbaijan is taking shape steadily as more foreign countries seek to enter the sector. VPS Healthcare Company became the latest company wishing to build a plant for manufacturing medicines in Azerbaijan.
The Abu-Dhabi based company signed a relevant MoU with Azerbaijan Investment Company on February 9. The document envisages cooperation of the sides in the sphere of joint production of medicines, which will meet all international standards.
Prior to the signing ceremony, Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev met with the Director of the Healthcare Company Shamsheer Vayalil.
Mustafayev gave an insight in investment and business environment of Azerbaijan, saying that the work is underway to establish a sustainable pharmaceutical industry in the country.
Vayalil, in turn, said that Azerbaijan has a good potential for developing the sphere, noting that his company is highly interested in cooperation.
VPS Healthcare runs a fully integrated healthcare business and operates some 20 clinics, as well as 13 hospitals and recreation centers in different countries of the world.
“The company plans to cooperate with Azerbaijan in the spheres of healthcare, management and production of pharmaceuticals,” Mustafayev told reporters after the meeting.
“We agreed to build a pharmaceuticals production plant in Azerbaijan and preliminary documents have been signed. After our experts make an in-deep analyses, they will hold other necessary negotiations on the construction of the plant,” said Mustafayev.
In late 2015, the government announced that Azerbaijan will create its own enterprises that will manufacture medicines to cease dependence on imports.
A lion’s share of medicines is currently being delivered from abroad. Import of drugs increased some 20 percent in 2016 as compared to 2015, with some 80 percent of drugs being imported from the European countries and the remaining part falling to a share of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Within the next three years, a number of pharma plants are expected to be put in operation in the country. A groundbreaking ceremony for the Azerbaijani-Russian joint pharmaceutical plant Hayat Pharm was laid in early November 2016. The enterprise is planned to produce some 80 types of medicines, turning the country into a manufacturer of high-quality medicines within two years. Some $74 million will be invested in the project.
A foundation stone for the Azerbaijan-Iran pharma plant was laid in the Pirallahi Industrial Park early this year. The construction of the plant will take around a year and a half, while the plant will start producing 84 kinds of medicines in the third quarter of 2018. The major part of drugs is planned to be sold on the domestic market, while a certain part will be exported. The construction of the third pharmaceutical plant is planned to be launched in March 2017.
Besides, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Cuba and some European countries are also interested in cooperation in such fields as healthcare services and pharmaceutical industry.